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The government’s decision to press ahead with a bill that will give Samui “special town’ status, similar to Pattaya, has been welcomed by the islands mayor and tourism operators. Mayor Ramnet Jaikwang has backed the efforts that will give the island special local administration status that he says will help locals.
For ten years the bill has been undergoing public hearings among the locals who are all behind the move according to the mayor. He said the locals want full decentralization of power so the local administration can manage all operations on the island, currently the local administration has to report back to the provincial office on everything, even in matters of urgency. He went on to say that the local body should be able to have the last say because the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Auditor-General still examine its decisions.
“it would be beneficial to tourism and other developments on Koh Samui as the island has lot of potential and can support itself well” said Seni Puwasetthavorn, the president of the Tourism and Promotion Association on Koh Samui.
The bill on the island’s special status is set to be submitted to the National Legislative Assembly along with similar bills for Mae Sot district in Tak and Laem Chabang municipality of Chon Buri, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Wednesday.